Hope Solo is arguably the greatest goalkeeper in history and one of the sport’s most outspoken figures — she recently criticized the equal-pay settlement between the USWNT and the U.S. Soccer Federation. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion just launched her podcast “Hope Solo Speaks” on SiriusXM, which she says was attractive to her because “it’s my voice — nobody’s speaking for me.”
Below is an excerpt from our interview:
What appealed to you about doing a podcast?
People have their opinions about me, even though they’ve never met me. I have been called outspoken, and that is a badge of honor to me. In this day and age, it’s very difficult to be honest and truthful, so I think a podcast was kind of right down my alley because I can be myself. I can be honest, I can be truthful, I can be outspoken, I can have my opinions, I can educate myself about other topics, and I can hopefully educate listeners.
In the announcement of the podcast, you said you’ve been “placed in a box” and that perceptions of you have been “off-target time and time again.” Why do you think that is?
There’s a lack of accountability when it comes to traditional media. It’s clickbait; it’s headlines. There has to be a villain, and when it comes to women’s soccer, I was always the villain, and it just stuck. It just makes news and makes highlights, and people like to drag others down, honestly. And it’s not just media, it’s on social media as well. I’ve been through it, and I really just don’t care anymore.
Why is the $24 million equal-pay settlement inadequate in your eyes?
When it comes to equal pay, it shouldn’t be based on contingencies and conditions. The [settlement] number is a fraction of what we were going for. Many of the former players will not get paid, and many of the players who started this fight back in 2015 will not be beneficiaries of it. So to me, it’s a selfish deal, a deal everybody just wanted to get done and move forward.
Read the full interview here.